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Frozen Parking Brake

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by johntwist, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Over the last few years, I've gotten into the habit of using my parking brake on a fairly regular basis. The reason is because I never used to use them at all and then the one time I found myself on a really steep hill and decided to use it corrosion and rust from lack of use seized it up on me. My mechanic gave me the "you're a dumb a$$" look and told me I should use it regularly or it'd happen again.

    So, like the dumb a$$ that I guess I must be, I started using it. Including after the big blizzard the other day where temps went down into the single digits the night after with wind chills to -15. Go out the next day to do some cleaning up at my regulars and guess what, she won't budge. Damned parking brake's frozen in the on position! Now I'm pulling my hair out, don't need this right now type feeling. Call mechanic up and he tells me to get under and wiggle the cables going from the frame rail into the brake drums and maybe that'll "pop her loose". I'm thinking I'd have a better chance of seeing God.

    But, I tried it, and of course, it didn't work. So I go to Plan B, which my mechanic strongly recommended I don't do. Being a plumber, I have a nice propane/mapp torch set up. During the season I carry it in the truck with the big tip for thawing things, iced up wiper blades, the hydraulic pump, or whatever. So, I put the torch to the brake drums, both sides, being careful not to set anything important on fire, like the shrader valve or the tires or anything. After about 10 minutes, I hop in the truck and voila, she's moving!

    So, lesson learned. I'll NEVER set that damned thing in freezing weather again, especially not overnight. I'm just glad I took my own advice instead of my mechanic's! Next time I see him, he's going to get the "you're a dumb a$$" look from me !
  2. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    Yeah, I would have said put some heat on it. At points this last storm I thought that my front disc brakes were getting packed with snow and weren't working all the time. Never did find out though.
  3. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Damn John, first you wreck your truck and now this? :( Sorry to hear about your misfortunes.
  4. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Thanks Jason but it's not that bad. I'd rather have a bumper to replace and a few dinged up quarter panels than be looking at replacing the tranny or transfer case. And this brake thing, hell, I got myself out of that one, for free! :drinkup:
  5. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    Here in Buffalo they use (over use) so much damn road salt, I've gotten into the habit of lubeing the cables on all our vehicles once a month. All the grease does displace that water. With all the tech stuff in cars and trucks today, you would think they could come up with a better overall design for the parking brake. :yow!:
  6. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    All I know is, that our Motor Vehicle people at the Phone Company used to raise hell if people put on the emergency brake during the winter. It was a definite no no with them! So I never use mine during the winter, and have never had mine freeze up, must be something to it.